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Your Take: Would You Pay $5 to Go Into a Store?

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Best Buy Showrooming!One of the big problems many retailers face is the issue of “showrooming.” That’s when customers go to your store to check out products but then leave to buy them online, where they are cheaper. There are plenty of smartphone apps that will do the online search for you after you snap a photo of the bar code, that way you know whether or not it’s available for cheaper online. I do this all the time using an app called ShopSavvy.

So I laughed when I saw this article about an Australian store charging $5 per person who enters the store. You get the $5 back if you purchase something. I think it’s foolish, no one is going to pay a cover to go into a store. :)

What do you think of this grand plan?

(Photo Credit: matteson.norman)

{ 26 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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26 Responses to “Your Take: Would You Pay $5 to Go Into a Store?”

  1. Michelle says:

    I would never pay! I read this article too and thought it was ridiculous.

    • Jim says:

      After reading the Samsung deal, I think those types of situations make more sense. You are basically charging other brands to take advantage of your foot traffic, instead of charging your customers (foot traffic). It’s a model that is way more sustainable and doesn’t have the ability to kill your business.

  2. Isn’t that essentially what you do when you buy a membership to a Sam’s Club or COSTCO?

    I would not pay to go into a store just to browse, however I would pay money to access products that were a good deal and I knew I could recoup my money, or if the store was exclusive enough and it provided the only opportunity to obtain that product.

    • David S says:

      I thought the same thing though this is more like prepaying a purchase. I guess though you could still try out the products and then buy a candy or something cheap and get your $5 back.

  3. mannymacho says:

    It may be a really dumb policy, but they are getting a lot of publicity out of the deal!

  4. I don’t mind buying things sight unseen based on reviews, so I’ve made ONE Best Buy purchase in the last three years! Wouldn’t bother me….because it wouldn’t affect me.

    I’ve been baffled for about ten years about Best Buy’s prices. I’m amazed it’s taken so long to catch up with them.

  5. admiral58 says:

    It would be tough to charge this unless you’re selling big ticket items at really generous discounts

  6. Kay says:

    Never. And I’d probably boycott their website at that point, too.

    There is a comment here regarding box store memberships and deep discounts. Those are the only places fees to shop somewhere belong!

  7. L Guzman says:

    It is a ridiculous idea.
    Companies spend a lot of money trying to lure people into their stores; this will keep people out of the store.
    Employees are coached on being welcoming; this is the opposite of welcoming: it treats customers as the enemy who cannot be trusted.
    When I walk into a store just to browse, I often end up buying something; I will not browse in a store that charges me to do so! And I am sure I am not the only customer they will lose this way.

  8. Christian L. says:

    Jim,
    This is beyond laughable. I’m fortunate enough to be in a small town with tons of local stores. I won’t really walk into them unless I know I’m going to walk out with something (this is most applicable to my local bike shop).

    I hardly have a reason to go to mega department stores, so I guess this won’t affect me.

    -Christian L. @ Smart Military Money

  9. freeby50 says:

    No I don’t think I’d pay $5 to go into a store in general.

    But I guess I don’t think this is so laughable given the situation. Its clear they’re grasping for some solution to showrooming. Its hard problem to fix and I don’t think the best answer is to just wipe out all local shops and buy everything at Amazon.

    I’d instead try and market this as a membership club similar to Costco. Annual charge is $50. But if you want you can buy a one day pass for $5 which would be refunded if you make a purchase. Being a ‘club’ is better marketing than charging an admission fee.

  10. Although I have a Sam’s card through my office I can’t think of any other reason I would pay. I don’t even pay for the Sam’s card but I might. I’d never pay to window shop…

  11. daenyll says:

    a fee to simply enter a store is ridiculous, i’d be more tempted to never use the store again than to pay the fee to shop. I tend to look at what i want then think about it before making a final purchase at a different occasion. I like to support local, but if they’re treating people like that? that’s just stupid.

  12. Holly says:

    I do NOT showroom as described (ie: go home & buy online).

    i DO shop multiple stores for any item I want or need to get the best choice, quality & price.

    IF any store charged a ‘lookers fee’ it would be OFF my list.

  13. Shirley says:

    This would surprise me and infuriate me the first time. After that it wouldn’t bother me because I wouldn’t be going back anyway.

  14. I think it is ridiculous to pay “entrance fee” to get into a store. What if the product I am looking for is not available in their shelves? So, it means I will not be able to get my $5 back.

    I think it is different from paying membership with Sam’s Club and Costco because I really go there and buy their products.

  15. Kimmy says:

    Pay $5.00 to enter a store?!That’s crazy. For $5.00, the store should give you a free movie or free snacks for entering the store. Well! Am I getting ridiculous or what! :-)

  16. admiral58 says:

    Def won’t be paying anytime soon for entrance.

  17. ec says:

    costco, sam’s and bj’s do it all the time.
    $50 to $55 a year membership just to walk in.
    they say that way they can give you better deals.

  18. skylog says:

    this is just, well, hilarious. just ridiculous. i will not be paying to enter a store anytime soon.

  19. Bryan says:

    If their prices are similar to what others are charging, people wouldn’t be showrooming. If you have products no one else has, again, they wouldn’t be showrooming.

    Best Buy had the same issue, and they started price matching a few popular online retailers, and their online business has improved.

    What does that tell you? Compete on price, and the showrooming will decline.

  20. Living in Australia I can tell you that this is a realistic reflection of how Australian stores see their business and their customers. For years shoppers have been treated with disdain and over the top prices and finally the consumer is waking up to being able to purchase goods online for substantially less money – in many cases more than 50% off.

  21. I agree with you that it is foolish. I wouldn’t pay $5 to enter a store unless I knew with certainty that I was going to get a good enough deal to recoup my $5 and then some.

  22. I’d pay it if it’s similar to a membership fee like those at wholesale clubs. With clubs, I at least get to see their selections and prices before deciding to join (via a guest pass) but I don’t have to pay every single time I go in the store.

  23. That is a sign of a company not sure on how to market and get people to buy while in the store. Why would I pay to buy something? Really dumb move to think of something like this and they wonder why they are on hard times.

  24. ace carolla says:

    everything Down Under is more expensive. fruit, toilet paper, veggies, sunglasses. so it makes sense that those aussies would try to wring every last nickel outta my lint-ridden pocket.


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